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Forward Head Posture Exercises

Forward Head Posture Exercises

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Forward head posture (aka forward neck posture) is an extremely common postural deformity, affecting between 66% and 90% of the population.

Forward head posture
Forward head posture(aka forward neck posture) is an extremely common postural deformity, affecting between 66% and 90%of the population.
Forward head posture, sometimes called “Scholar’s Neck”, “Text Neck”, “Wearsie Neck”, or “Reading Neck”, refers to a posture where the head appears to be positioned in front of the body.
Technically speaking,  forward head posture means that the skull is leaning forwards, more than an inch, over the atlas (which is the first vertebrae in your neck).
This type of posture can make one look unattractive and cause neck pain, upper back pain, along with tension-type headaches, as well as other symptoms (more below).
The good news is with a few simple exercises, posture awareness and workstation modifications and you can start correcting this posture!

 
5 Great Forward Head Posture Exercises
1. Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) Self Massage
 
 This will  release the SCM (Sternocleidomastoid) muscle, which tends to be overactive on  most individuals. 
Begin in either a standing or seated position. 
Locate your SCM (there is one on each side of your neck that runs from behind your ear to approximately the middle of your throat and connects to your collarbone – in a “V” pattern- and it will feel like a tight band of muscle).
**You may find it helpful to turn your head in the opposite direction to find your SCM (i.e. turn your head to the right to locate your left SCM).
Once you locate the SCM, gently massage it by pinching it or pressing into it with your fingers.
Make sure to go up and down the whole length of the muscle.
Aim to massage the muscle for about 1 minute on each side of your neck.

** Avoid pressing too deep or you might hit other tender neck structures.
** Avoid rubbing on any pulsating areas as these are blood vessels in the neck.
 
2. Neck Flexion (Suboccipital Stretch)
This will stretch the back of your neck muscles including the Suboccipital muscles.
First, tuck your chin in using 2 fingers of one hand.
Place your other hand on the back of your head and apply a gentle force down as you pull your head towards your chest.
When you feel a stretch at the back of your neck, hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat this stretch 3 times.
** Keep your chin tucked as you do this stretch.
 
 3. Chin Tucks Exercise
This  exercise will activate and strengthen your deep cervical muscles (front of the neck muscles).
Place 2 fingers at the bottom of your chin.
Gently tuck your chin in and retract your head backwards. At the same time, use your fingers to keep the chin tucked in the entire time.
Hold the end position for 3 to 5 seconds.
Relax your neck for a moment (Let the neck come fwd).
Aim for 2 to 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
** Your eyes should stay level and you should feel
like the back of your neck is lengthening or “pulling up”.

4. Shoulder Blade Squeeze (aka Brugger’s Relief Position)
This exercise will activate and strengthen your low and mid back muscles including Low and Mid Trapezius.
– Position your feet and knees slightly wider than your hips and slightly rotated outwards.
– Maintain a chin tuck and raise your chest up, allowing your spine to be in a neutral position.
– Rest both of your arms down by your sides.
– Now bring your arms back and externally rotate them so that your thumbs are pointing backwards.
– Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and release.
– Aim for 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
* Breathe normally as you do these reps.
 
5. Mid Scalene & Upper Trapezius Stretch 
This will stretch out the neck and upper back muscles (Scalene & Upper Trapezius) which get very tight on individuals with this forward neck syndrome.
– Start either in a standing or seated position.
– Place one of your hands on the opposite side of your head.
– Now bring the head down towards your ear.
– Use the hand overhead to press your neck down – to get a deeper stretch (Not too hard).
– Hold for 20-30 seconds and do 2-3 sets.
 
Reference:
How To Fix Forward Head Posture – 5 Exercises,backintelligence,https://backintelligence.com/how-to-fix-forward-head-posture/  By:Dr. Shaina McQuilkie
DCandLeon Turetsky (NASM-CPT, NASM-CES), Last Updated: January 23, 2020, Reviewed By:Dr. David Oliver, DC

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